Artwork by C. Pembroke
MUSINGS Cindy's Blog
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© C Pembroke 2018
I've been asked to speak about my art and the creative process at a college art class at Southern Polytechnic State University (SPSU). I find that I need to type in order to prepare my words, and this is my place where I do that. So here goes. I'm shooting for 4 minutes at 400 words per each: me, my art, marketing. Then Q&A. Then 10 minutes (1000 words) on creativity and introducing a creativity activity.
I first learned that I wanted to be an artist at 20. I was in college, an art professor said, "you could be good", and I felt something. Pride, hope, want.
But I was almost finished with my business degree, and I kept on going. The seed was planted; It would take some time to grow.
I continued on, stumbled thru a state of not knowing for a while, felt myself going thru the motions.
I graduated, moved to Germany, saw a bit of the world.
Perhaps it was the romance of the countryside, something charmed, I found direction, and fell in love. Lucky for me, with my best friend, my husband, Jim.
While this side romance is a bit of a deviation from the point of today, art and creativity, it is an important point. I learned at that time what real love is. The connection. How right and peaceful and true it is. All I can say is that True Love Does Exist. Dreams Do Come True.
Once the time was right, it happened mysteriously, magically, simply.
So, My quest with art has been altogether different. I have been working on this a long time, with few glimmers, just one prolonged struggle.
I have had to change myself in order to create a winning strategy.
And I needed changing. I've noticed that artists with a pent up need to share can wind up sharing in totally inappropriate ways. The bad emails pleading "look at my work". The bad outfits, purples and mismatched. Just all over the place.
And so I tried every craft known to mankind. And built website after website, "this is who I am, this is what I do." And as soon as I developed a theme and got some momentum, I would tear it down.
I needed to explore what not to do before I could rest into a single thing. And finally, the single thing I have chosen is so simple. I like it, black and white. Abstract. Other than that, anything goes.
And so, 20+ years later, I have rested into a style, theme, purpose. I am settling into my marketing approaches. I'm entering a period of success, and am so looking forward to it. The idea of receiving positive feedback, on something so important to me, my core. Wow.
On My Art:
I haven't spent much time thinking from the point of view of my art, and speaking for its sake. It's something I need to do more of.
First let me say it is a gift. To ride on the wave of an image unfolding, being built, revealing itself. Very cool. I stand back sometimes and wonder, "where did that come from?"
There is wisdom, grace, freedom, expression. Quiet, cool, crazy. And it switches back and forth. As I draw, and later, as I look. There is a movement that captures my attention and draws me in.
My work is in large part done from the subconscious. I start out small, get in the groove, and just see where it goes.
Of course that can get boring, so I like to mix things up with challenge. How can I make sense of a bolt in her chest?
I read alot. I do my best to maintain a state of creative confusion in my head. Lately I've been studying on cancer, nutrition, gardening, physiology, and politics.
As I draw, I sort thru thoughts about the world at large, the economy, technology, the workplace. I swing back and forth from this macro view to my own personal landscape.
When the art is complete, I find messages. Like dreams, I analyze them for lessons learned, new ways to be. I almost always find a way to grow.
And when I return, later, to gaze. I find friends, encouragement. I relax into a hypnotic state. Just gaze. Allow the energy to soak in.
I most like my art because it is different. I haven't seen anything quite like it. I respect that. I've worked hard at paving my own road, letting my art be itself, not a copy, a wannabe. It IS.
I am no expert on marketing. Or perhaps, I can advise on what not to do. My father used to yell to me from the side of the soccer field, "Stop pussy footing around."
I have always been shy. Painfully shy. Thank goodness for the business world that showed me how to interact in the world.
So,… I suspect that the biggest thing to do in marketing is to get out of your own way. Clear messages. What do you want? What do you have to offer? Why is it important?
To hear your own voice when you own something, know it inside and out. There is no question. This is it. Certainty!
To sell your wares when you're not quite sure, if it's real, true. It's obvious. Either you sound glossy and fake, or faltering and weak. So the first step is being sure of what you're doing.
Next is perseverance, strategy, trickery. I have had to trick myself over and over again. Bribe myself to take a chance. Obscure my fear.
Tap your strengths. For me, that means writing and repetition. I'm fearless on paper. And repetition gives people a sense of comfort that you're for real.
I like to give away an experience, while linking to an opportunity for purchase. Just enough to open the door, connect the dots.
I have found ways to bend my marketing efforts toward a wider purpose. As I shape my words, I focus on a few things at once. First I want to announce my art. At the same time, I encourage and describe the creative process, and strive to inspire and enable others to reach their dreams.
And so, here we are. Creativity is the fun part, what I most enjoy talking about. It's huge and wonderful, this ability we have. We humans, to shape our world, ourselves, each other.
I don't think we take advantage quite enough of this gift. I get bored, distracted, when I see the same old same old, over and over. And to see or feel the going-thru-the-motions thing. Not on fire. Not pressed with a sense of urgency. It's a shame. And its something we can shape, alter, change.
This Is The Moment. This Is the Time.
As fellow artists, you may sense this same thing. Does it frustrate you when you hear others say about themselves, "I'm not creative."? It does me. It's absolutely silly.
Creativity does not equate to literal drawing. Creativity is the ability to think a new thought, create a new image, something that has never before existed.
Everyone gets creative -- with their cooking, gifts, words, expressions, ETC.
But I do suspect that not everyone with a Nike shirt cares about Nike. Not everyone watching football likes it. There are a lot of wannabe's out there. People going thru the motions.
My contribution to ward off this complacency, to court wider creativity, is to engage others with my "12 Steps thru Creativity". This is the process I have come to follow for my own work, expression, life. I find out where I am, and figure out where I want to go next.
Like dance, these 12 steps do not need to be performed in any specific order. You can pick and choose from them, get some movement in your thought process.
May we find our vision, learn our way, define our path, and meet our purpose.